Personal Support Worker

Ace Your Interview: Top Personal Support Worker Interview Questions

October 18, 2023

A personal support worker class as seen through the Medix College entrance windows.

Landing an interview is a big step toward securing a personal support worker role. Acing the interview will take you even closer. As you can imagine, however, this is a more complex proposition.

Support workers bear the responsibility of safeguarding vulnerable populations. Consequently, organizations hiring these professionals aim to ensure they possess the qualifications to cater to the needs of their patients. With that said, with adequate preparation and knowledge of common PSW interview questions, you can increase your chances of passing that interview. 

You may wonder, “How do I prepare for a PSW interview?’ The best place to start is by researching the organization, understanding the role’s responsibilities, and reviewing common interview questions. Reflect on past experiences, highlighting skills and scenarios where you provided care or managed challenges. Practice responses, dress professionally, and prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer. Confidence and empathy are key.

Understanding the Role of a Personal Support Worker (PSW)

The role of a Personal Support Worker (PSW) is a demanding combination of physical care, emotional support, and commitment to facilitating clients’ independence. Candidates must understand that their responsibilities range from assisting with daily tasks like dressing and feeding to providing emotional comfort during challenging times. 

One of the most common personal support worker interview questions is, “Can you describe what you think a care worker does?” This question tests your knowledge of the practical aspects and your understanding of the emotional nuances of the job.

Another question to anticipate is, “How do you balance providing assistance and allowing independence for clients?” An excellent way to respond to this question is to state that you ensure a balance by actively listening to clients and understanding their capabilities and desires. While providing essential assistance, you also encourage them to perform tasks they’re comfortable with. This promotes self-reliance and dignity, ensuring care is tailored to each individual’s needs and fostering safety and autonomy.

Interviewers typically also want to know why you’re interested in the role. When faced with a question like “Why do you want to work as a PSW?” the best reply would be to state that you’re drawn to work as a PSW because you have a genuine desire to support and uplift those in need. The role offers a chance to make meaningful connections, improve the quality of life for individuals, and contribute positively to your community. You value empathy, continuous learning, and hands-on care.

A smiling female personal support worker holding a personal support worker textbook during a practical class.
Before your PSW interview, research the responsibilities of a personal support worker.

If you’re asked, “Why did you choose the Personal Support Worker program?” You pursued the Personal Support Worker program because of your deep-rooted passion for helping others. You wanted a career where you could make a tangible difference in individuals’ lives, providing them with the support and care they need to live fulfilling lives, while also continually learning and growing professionally.

Highlighting Your Qualities and Experience

In the world of care, every individual brings a unique blend of experiences, skills, and personal traits. Candidates must differentiate themselves by emphasizing how their past roles have equipped them for the challenges of a PSW position. You might be asked, “What can you bring to this support worker position?” This is your moment to showcase specific instances from your past roles that highlight transferable skills, lessons learned, and challenges overcome. Another question, like “Tell me about a challenging experience and how you managed it?” provides a chance to display problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence.

Addressing Potential Challenges and Situations

Working as a PSW means facing varying challenges daily. Whether handling stressful situations, preserving client dignity, or assessing individual needs, interviewers want to ensure you’re up for the task. PSW interview questions such as “How do you manage stressful scenarios involving clients?” or “How do you maintain a client’s dignity during personal care?” to gauge your capacity to handle sensitive situations with grace and professionalism. Communicating a balanced approach is crucial, emphasizing understanding each client’s unique needs, promoting open communication, and fostering independence where possible.

A group of personal support worker students undertaking a practical class covering patient bed care.
In every PSW interview, relay your experience and lessons learned from challenging situations.

Engaging in a Two-Way Interview Process

An interview isn’t just about employers evaluating potential hires—it’s also an opportunity for candidates to assess the organization. Engaging actively by posing questions demonstrates initiative and genuine interest. Questions such as “How will my performance be evaluated?” or “What resources and support are available for training?” can provide insights into the organization’s values and commitment to employee growth. 

Further, asking about team dynamics and challenges the team faces or expectations for the initial months can give a clearer picture of the environment. Being proactive and ensuring that the organization aligns with your values and career aspirations is essential.

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Personal Support Worker

Unveiling the Core Responsibilities: Personal Support Worker Duties Explained

September 29, 2023

A group of Personal Support Workers during personal support worker training.

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are frontline champions who ensure many individuals’ daily care and well-being. A Personal Support Worker typically assists clients with daily personal care routines like bathing and dressing, prepares nutritious meals, offers medication reminders, provides mobility assistance, and offers emotional and social support. They also perform light housekeeping duties and maintain records of the client’s health and activities.

This post seeks to illuminate these duties and responsibilities, offering a clearer understanding of the essential function PSWs play in healthcare.

Who Is a Personal Support Worker?

A PSW is a caregiver trained to provide assistance to individuals in need. Whether it’s the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, or individuals with physical disabilities, PSWs are equipped to offer support that enables these people to lead more independent, fulfilling lives.

A Personal Support Worker cares for a patient’s physical, mental, and emotional health, especially when illness or age impedes their self-care capabilities. Critical tasks for a PSW include preparing balanced meals, assisting with everyday hygiene routines, and collaborating with a diverse healthcare team to ensure the highest standard of care.

A group of Personal Support Workers during personal support worker training.
One of the personal support worker’s duties is to assist needy individuals.

The duties and responsibilities of a PSW extend beyond merely assisting with daily tasks. They are the heart and soul of a care system designed to offer holistic support to individuals who need it most. Personal support worker duties, though varied, center on the individual’s well-being, ensuring that their physical and emotional needs are met. It’s a role that requires compassion, dedication, and a genuine love for helping others – and it’s a role that makes a world of difference every single day.

Understanding the Core Personal Support Worker Duties

One of the most immediate Personal Support Worker duties is personal care. This includes helping individuals with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and mobility. This duty ensures that individuals remain hygienic and dignified, even when they cannot perform these tasks independently. Nutritional needs are also essential, and a PSW is often responsible for meal planning, preparation, and sometimes feeding those who cannot do so for themselves. It’s not just about making food; it’s also about ensuring that meals are balanced and cater to any dietary restrictions.

While PSWs are not typically qualified to administer medications, they play a significant role in medication management. This could mean reminding the individual to take their pills, assisting in organizing a medication schedule, or even helping to apply medicinal creams or ointments. For those with physical limitations, moving around can be a challenge. Personal support worker duties include assisting with mobility – helping someone out of bed, aiding with transfers, or providing support during physiotherapy exercises.

A group of Personal Support Workers during personal support worker training.
The responsibilities of a PSW include catering for clients’ physical, social, and emotional needs.

Beyond the physical, the emotional well-being of an individual is paramount. PSWs often become confidants and friends to those in their care. They listen, provide companionship, and may even accompany individuals to social events or outings, ensuring a holistic approach to care. Further, a clean and safe environment is vital for health and recovery. PSWs may engage in light housekeeping duties like cleaning, laundry, or even shopping for essentials, ensuring the living environment remains conducive to healing and daily living.

Another crucial responsibility is keeping track of an individual’s daily activities, health changes, and potential concerns. PSWs contribute to the broader healthcare team’s knowledge by documenting these details, facilitating better long-term care strategies. As part of an extended team, PSWs liaise with nurses, doctors, therapists, and other healthcare professionals. They provide vital insights into the patient’s daily life and any immediate concerns, bridging the gap between home care and clinical care. Personal Support Workers (PSWs) skills involve communication, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and time managment.


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Personal Support Worker

What Does a PSW Do? Understanding the Role of a Personal Support Worker

June 30, 2023

Personal support worker graduate providing one-on-one care to an elderly patient

Personal Support Workers (PSW) are vital members of the healthcare team. Not only do they provide care and support to vulnerable individuals, helping them live more fulfilling lives, but by doing so, they also help relieve the stress and demands on other healthcare workers. The role of a PSW is essential in any inclusive society that aims to enhance the quality of life of its population.

Those who are considering a career in healthcare may be more familiar with other roles within the field, such as nurses, physicians, and medical assistants, but a career as a PSW can be just as rewarding. If you are trying to determine what career path to take, understanding the roles and responsibilities of a Personal Support Worker might help you figure out if this is the job for you. Read on to learn more.

Why Are Personal Support Workers Needed?

With the aging population, healthcare professionals are growing increasingly in demand. Given that Personal Support Workers play a critical role in providing care and support for seniors, their work is highly valued in the healthcare industry. In addition to providing daily assistance with tasks such as meal preparation, household management, aiding with bathing, and other aspects of personal hygiene, PSWs play an important role in promoting health and wellness. By doing so, they provide preventive care, helping lessen the burden on hospitals and healthcare centers.

Personal support worker professional changing patient’s non-sterile dressing
Personal Support Workers work closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure the safety of their patients.

To become a Personal Support Worker, you must obtain certification from an accredited institution. This is because, through your Personal Support Worker course, you will get hands-on training and develop a broad range of abilities needed to provide professional care to your clients. You will also learn how to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure your clients get the care and medical support they need. 

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The main role of Personal Support Workers are to help clients maintain their independence. This is done through several different tasks–depending on the individual needs of each client. It is common for PSWs to help clients maintain personal hygiene by assisting them with bathing, dressing, and toileting. In addition, Personal Support Workers must ensure that clients take their medications and assist them with mobility if needed. Meal preparation, household management, feeding, and bedside care are also some of the most common duties for PSWs. Given the compassionate nature of the role, PSWs need to communicate clearly and compassionately with clients and assist them with their social and emotional needs.

PSW graduate assisting an elderly patient in getting ready for the day
As a graduate of our Personal Support Worker training program, you will assist your clients with personal care, meal preparation, medication administration, and some housekeeping tasks.

Those taking a PSW course online will have regular in-person practical labs to practice the theory they learn online. In addition, an externship will help them bridge the gap between the classroom and the work environment. 

Different Career Paths You Can Take After PSW Training

After Personal Support Worker training, you will likely find employment in health centres, long-term care facilities, private care facilities, and group homes. PSWs can also work at clients’ homes depending on the kind of attention required by clients. Although many Personal Support Workers work with healthcare agencies and institutions, some may choose to work independently or work for a private household. Roles and responsibilities may vary depending on the type of work setting.  


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Q: How to become a PSW

A: To become a Personal Support Worker, you must complete a certified PSW program. Through it, you will learn how to effectively provide care and assistance to clients and families, helping them to live fulfilling lives in their communities and institutions. 

Q: What does a Personal Support Worker do?

A: Personal Support Workers are healthcare professionals who provide essential care and support to individuals who cannot complete daily activities alone, such as those who are aging, chronically ill, and/or have physical/mental disabilities.

Q: What do you need to be a PSW?

A: To be eligible to apply for Personal Support Worker positions, you must have completed a certified PSW program, have all the documentation and certifications required by the employer, such as CPR and first aid certifications, and have some hands-on experience. Empathy, compassion, and collaboration are common traits of PSWs.

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Understanding The Plan of Care After Personal Support Worker Training

June 09, 2023

Female PSW greeting a senior woman in a wheelchair while her male companion holds the wheelchair handles

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are healthcare professionals that provide support, care, and assistance to people who are mostly experiencing various types of incapacities. Their clients include the elderly and those suffering from physical and mental illnesses, as well as other forms of prolonged illnesses. Because of how crucial the support provided by the PSWs is to the personal welfare of their clients, a “Plan of Care” is a requirement for their job. 

Here, we discuss some of the details included in a typical plan of care in a bid to help PSWs understand how best to meet the specific needs of their clients. If you’re considering PSW training, read on to learn more.

Plan Of Care in a Personal Support Worker Career

After Personal Support Worker training, PSWs develop a plan of care for their clients as a means to provide the regular support their clients need in their everyday lives. This plan of care provides a detailed description of the activities they partake in and the services they offer as part of the support they give their clients. They may include important details like personal care assistance, medication assistance, mental and emotional support, and other factors needed for their daily sustenance.

Below is a description of some key components that go into a plan of care program as administered by PSWs to people in palliative care homes, support housing and other long-term care facilities.

Client Assessment

PSWs start by evaluating each of their clients to know what specific needs they have and what conditions they are currently experiencing. They go through the medical histories of their clients and take notes from physical examinations undertaken to identify any challenges they may face. They may also consult the family of their client to gather any relevant information. The information gathered from this process helps them determine what plan of care is suited for each client.

Female PSW assisting senior woman in a wheelchair after personal support worker training
Client assessment is a key responsibility of PSWs after personal support worker training.

Development of the Care Plan

PSWs are responsible for creating a care plan that guides them while attending to their clients. This care plan will shape the nature and quality of their client interactions. It may include a physical examination routine, a dietary regimen, cognitive assessments, and other support schedules. Drawing inspiration from their PSW training, this plan will establish targets and milestones while setting timeframes and defining each point of call in their care schedule. 

Personal Care Assistance

Personal care assistance is an essential part of the plan of care activities that PSWs line up for their clients. The activities include those everyday exercises that contribute to their upkeep. PSWs may help clients in bathing, grooming, dressing up, and in navigating their surroundings. 

The care plan will also cover the feeding needs of each client. PSWs plan and prepare the meals each client will receive daily, and they do this while considering their eating habits and any dietary constraints unique to each client. 

Medication Assistance

PSWs also help in administering medication according to set prescriptions. They gain important medical knowledge and experience over the course of their Personal Support Worker career. And so they know what dosage to use and when the medication should be given to the clients. 

Female PSW assisting elderly patients with their medication after personal support worker training
PSWs assist clients with medication after personal support worker training

After clients take their required medication, PSWs must watch them closely for signs of any side effects or undesirable outcomes. If they observe any unexpected reactions to medications, the PSWs will report them to the resident medical director or healthcare administrator. 


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Q: What is a personal support worker?

A: A personal support worker is a healthcare professional who provides assistance and support to individuals who require help with their daily activities due to physical, cognitive, or emotional challenges. They work closely with clients to ensure their well-being and promote independence.

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Personal Support Worker

3 Meal Planning Tips to Remember After Personal Support Worker Training

March 24, 2023

Nutrition is a vital aspect of a person’s health, so having well-balanced and healthy meals throughout the day is important. People needing support are no different, and their meal needs may be even greater than those of a regular individual. It can be challenging to cook and plan for these needs, and that is why during Personal Support Worker training, you will receive valuable information and guidance on meal preparation.

If you want to learn about some of these tips for meal planning while working as a Personal Support Worker, continue reading.

1. Refresh the Meal Planning With New Dishes

It is good to have a routine and plan to keep things organized and ensure the patient receives the nutrition and calories they need, as taught in your training; however, most people don’t enjoy eating the same or similar meals repeatedly. Sometimes, preparing different meals and thinking outside the box can be very effective. Ensure you plan for it beforehand so you remain organized. This change can be done in a variety of ways. You can change how the meal is presented as one option or look for a meal providing similar nutritional values while offering a different taste.

During Personal Support Worker training, you will learn about several nutritious ingredients and meals you can utilize, so try mixing it up using this knowledge. For instance, instead of serving pasta with chicken every week, try swapping the chicken for minced meat or offer a chicken salad packed with nutrients and calories. It is good to serve different meals to keep the patient’s emotions, taste buds, and stomach happy.

As taught during Personal Support Worker training, be creative in your meal planning.

2. Consider the Patient’s Health as Taught in Personal Support Worker Training

During Personal Support Worker courses, you will learn about meal planning and cooking for the patient’s needs. If the patient suffers from a medical or dental condition, it is important to take note of these and meal prep accordingly. If a patient has sensitive teeth, or damaged teeth, potentially even dentures, prepare liquid or soft food. This is good for them as it doesn’t require much effort to chew. 

You must also monitor a patient’s allergies or other medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. With high blood pressure, you should avoid planning meals with red meat or saturated fats. In the case of someone with diabetes, it is important to avoid meals which contain white bread, pasta, or rice. During your training, you will learn about these important considerations, which will be further emphasized in your practicum.

Consider a patient’s medical condition as taught in Personal Support Worker courses.

3. Offer Healthy Snacks That Are Nutritious and Hydrating

Everybody enjoys a snack, and the patients you will help are likely no different. However, providing healthy, hydrating, and easy-to-chew snacks is important. The reason for keeping a patient’s hydration level high is that they are potentially unaware of when they are dehydrated. This is due to bodily functions no longer working as well as they once did. Offering healthy and hydrating snacks helps prevent this while being nutritious and easy to eat. For instance, fruits are healthy snacks that are easy to chew and keep the patient hydrated. Combine this with a glass of water where possible. Your training will also provide information about other healthy snacks you can offer patients when they want one and what options are good depending on their condition.

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Supporting Client Family Members After Personal Support Worker Training

February 17, 2023

Once you become a Personal Support Worker (PSW), your ability to forge solid and constructive relationships with your clients’ families will help you to ensure the provision of quality and personalized care. Many family members undoubtedly wish to give their loved one everything they require; however, a lack of time, expertise, and accessibility make that impossible for most families. That’s where your support comes in. Keep reading for some helpful pointers that you can apply after career training to build supportive relationships with the families of your clients. 

Make Client Information Easily Accessible to Families 

As a Personal Support Worker, you will be privy to each client’s personal information. With so much inside knowledge on their health, prescriptions, doctor recommendations, mental state, and needs, you’ll be the perfect liaison between your client, other healthcare professionals, and family members. That’s why it will be important to maintain open lines of communication. 

Always keep client’s families up to date after Personal Support Worker training.

Be sure to project an approachable, open attitude to start your relationship with families on a positive footing. Ask for contact information so that you can fill your client’s family in after doctor’s appointments, provided your client consents and is unable to do so. Family members who are aware of and concerned about their loved one’s needs are better able to offer additional assistance, which can benefit you as a PSW and give clients the enrichment they need.

Aim to Connect Families to Helpful Resources After Personal Support Worker College 

After Personal Support Worker training, you will have the opportunity to work with various healthcare professionals and support staff. This will likely put you in a prime position to learn about lesser-known resources available to your clients and their families. For instance, many of your clients’ families could benefit from the support of a counsellor as they deal with drastic life changes. This support could involve helping your client to transition into long-term care or even grief counselling as your client’s family grapples with the possibility of losing their loved one.

Help your client’s family by connecting them with professionals after career college.

As you get to know family members, take note of their situation, how they’re dealing with it, and what they seem to struggle with most. Use your professional experience and connections to offer helpful solutions. 

Take Every Opportunity to Ask Families What They Need 

You might not be able to infer what every family member needs. Comfort levels with sharing differ from person to person, so to learn what you can do to support the client’s family, you may need to demonstrate that you care and ask them outright. Find time to pull family members aside, as they may feel more comfortable opening up to you in private. Throughout your Personal Support Worker career, always express genuine concern and ask about specific ways you can provide help. Listen actively to the response and offer assurance that you will follow through to the best of your ability. Certainly, after completing the Personal Support Worker program at Medix College, and earning your PSW certificate, assisting families in need will be a rewarding part of your career. Develop the hands-on and theoretical skills you need to start your PSW journey at our reputable healthcare college. 


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3 Tips for Helping Clients With Depression After Personal Support Worker Training

January 20, 2023

According to a report, about 80 to 90% of older adults living in long-term care have some form of mental disorder, with approximately 50% living with a diagnosis of depression. Due to such a widespread rate of prevalence, depression among older people has almost come to be accepted as an inevitable part of the aging process. Yet, as this research proves, depression isn’t a normal part of aging. 

If you end up in a position at a long-term care facility after your Personal Support Worker training, you may need to provide support, care, and assistance to clients with depression. Read on to discover three tips for helping clients with depression. 

1. Engage With Clients After Personal Support Worker Training 

One of the clearest symptoms of depression is disengagement. People with depression often abruptly disengage from family and friends or from activities they once found pleasurable, such as eating or playing simple games with friends.

After Personal Support Worker training, you’ll need to find ways to engage with your clients.

If you notice signs that suggest that your client isn’t taking pleasure in daily activities anymore, it’ll be up to you, after your Personal Support Worker training, to look for ways and techniques to help them engage with their lives and others again. 

Remember to be patient and compassionate in your interactions with them. Have a sympathetic discussion with them about anything that may be bothering them in order to get them to open up. Let them know you are willing to hear anything they have to say without passing judgment.

2. Create a Support System

Loneliness makes depression worse. You could be assisting in no little way by simply giving your client as much of your time and attention as you possibly can. However, since you may find it difficult or impossible to be around them all the time, you may also consider creating a support system for them. Of course, this should be done with input from your client. 

Together, develop a network of loved ones and friends who they like being around for support. Create a reliable schedule that connects them to these folks frequently. They might not have the drive to make these arrangements on their own, but with your assistance, they can begin to fight isolation and build stronger relationships.

If members of your client’s family or their friends are unavailable, you can encourage them to connect with other caregivers at the facility. 

3. Prepare Meals With Them

Adults in care facilities struggling with depression often suffer a drastic loss of appetite. This can leave them constantly fatigued and suffering from poor health. Your Personal Support Worker courses will emphasize the value of proper nutrition for long-term care clients, because this knowledge is critical in your position. 

Preparing meals with clients is a way for PSWs to help them deal with depression after Personal Support Worker training.

You should do everything you can to ensure that they are receiving the right nutrition. Prepare quick meals and snacks with them that are calorie- and nutrition-dense so they can eat them even when they don’t feel like it. When you prepare meals with them, you’re ensuring proper nutrition for them, but more importantly, you’re also taking care of their need for companionship. 


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Considering Personal Support Worker Training? 3 Signs of Abuse To Watch For

December 23, 2022

“Abuse” is a word that is thrown around often, but what does it really mean? What are the signs of abuse, and how do we stop it? There are many kinds of abuse encountered by adults. Today, we are going to talk about financial, physical and emotional abuse. 

In Personal Support Worker (PSW) training at Medix College, students learn to examine family violence, the cycle of violence and signs of abuse and neglect. They will fully understand their role and responsibility when abuse is suspected and feel confident knowing they are taking the right action to protect clients in their care. Continue reading for three signs of abuse to look out for during your PSW career.

1. Be Aware of Financial Abuse After Personal Support Worker Training

Did you know that financial abuse is the most prevalent form of elder abuse today in Canada? You may be wondering what that looks like in real-life scenarios. If somebody tricks, threatens or persuades seniors out of their money, property or possessions, it is considered financial abuse. 

Family members of your client are not necessarily excluded from initiating this kind of abuse. If a family member is in charge of your client’s finances and ignores their basic necessities, such as toiletries, clothing or other personal items, it’s still considered financial abuse.

Trained PSWs know how to look for warning signs. This may include sudden changes in banking practices, unauthorized withdrawal of funds, items going missing in their home, a lack of products or food, and more. Those who have completed personal support worker training know that they play a big responsibility in their clients’ lives. Being aware is just part of the solution; if a client approaches you and claims abuse, it’s important to take it seriously.

After personal support worker training, you’ll learn to properly deal with abusive situations.

2. Good Personal Support Workers Know to Look For Physical Abuse

Seniors are often powerless to protect themselves, lacking the physical strength and, in some cases, the verbal abilities to prevent or report abuse. It is physical abuse if somebody hits an older adult or handles the person roughly, even if there is no injury. This type of abuse is sometimes passed off as a fall or other type of accident. 

With that being said, you may be wondering how you can tell if a client is being physically abused if they don’t report it. A good indication that you should investigate an incident further is if the injury does not match the story behind how it happened. Ask your clients questions about their injuries. At the same time, monitor their physical responses to gauge if they are comfortable talking about it. Individuals trained at Medix College in our PSW course will be fully prepared to handle different abuse situations and know the importance of reporting incidents to their employers.

PSWs understand the importance and responsibility of reporting abuse.

3. Watch For Signs Of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse (or psychological abuse) is typically inflicted in private because it can diminish the identity and dignity of the abused person. The most common forms of emotional abuse include name-calling, yelling, ignoring, threatening or insulting. In some cases, threats of institutionalization, isolation from social activities, or withholding access to loved ones may occur. 

Unlike physical abuse, it’s not as easy to identify. A warning sign does not automatically mean abuse is happening; ask questions, seek advice from experts on abuse, and be respectful. Being aware is the first step. If you suspect an older adult is being abused, start by talking to the person, in private, and ask whether they feel safe at home and are being well cared for. If the situation is an emergency and you feel the person is at immediate risk, call 911. 

PSW training at Medix College includes a course on Abuse and Neglect, where students will learn to examine the cycle of violence and indicators of abuse, as well as the role of the worker when abuse is suspected and reported. In less than a year, our PSW program will train you to provide care, support, and assistance to clients who are aging, chronically ill, or living with physical or mental disabilities. 


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3 Best Practices For Assisting Patients With Hygiene After Personal Support Worker Training

November 25, 2022

Assisting clients with hygiene after Personal Support Worker (PSW) training is a critical part of the daily tasks in this role. However, it can be one of the most challenging aspects of the job. This is because the skin is sensitive and easily aggravated, which means extra care and empathy are needed. 

At Medix College, we offer quality training in mental health issues, abuse and neglect, as well as brain injuries, health conditions, body systems, and more through our Personal Support Worker training program. This training will help you to ensure your client is always comfortable, clean, and dignified. Remember, your clients will typically need extra attention and the safest care. Continue reading to learn three best practices for assisting clients with hygiene when you become a Personal Support Worker.

1. Always Remember That Safety Comes First 

Injuries and illnesses can cause patients to lose sensation or have limited mobility or control over their bodies. This can make hygiene challenging, and clients may need help with things that many people take for granted, like putting on a shirt or taking a shower. 

If a patient has limited mobility, they likely need help with transfers to and from the toilet and tub. It’s important to check your organization’s policies and practices to see what is recommended. If you have any doubts or concerns, then someone else should assist. 

Individuals with Personal Support Worker training know it’s important to ensure your clients feel safe and comfortable at all times. This can be achieved by practicing open communication with your client about their preferences and limitations. You’ll also want to make sure their room is safe by keeping the floors dry to avoid slipping, installing non-skid mats in the shower or bathtub, and keeping the room at a comfortable temperature. If available, a movable shower head with a hose is especially helpful for patients who need assistance rinsing themselves.

After personal support worker training, students will understand how to properly care for their clients’ personal hygiene.

2. How To Assist Patients with Bathing and Nail Care 

PSWs that have completed their training know that before bringing the client to bathe, it’s important to gather all the things they will need first, such as a towel, loofah, soaps, shampoos, etc. Communicate with your client about their preferences. For example, some people like to enter the bath before it’s full of water. If your patient prefers that, regulate the water temperature to ensure it’s not too hot and not too cold. 

Always assume modesty is a concern and cover your client’s sensitive areas. Assist in washing as needed, being sure to communicate what you need to do before helping the client. After their bath, make your client feels safe by guiding them out of the shower/tub with a towel ready to cover them up. This method has two purposes. First, if they slip, you’re ready with a towel to catch them. And second, having a towel ready will help keep their modesty covered and keep them warm.

Next, look at the client’s nails. A good PSW knows that nail beds can tell us a lot about a person’s health. If your client has diabetes, for example, you will want to be aware of every cut or scratch to be able to catch an infection early on. Watch for signs of irritation or infection. Note and report any swelling, thick or brittle nails, changes in nail texture, colour, exquisite tenderness, or foot ulcers. Those holding a Personal Support Worker diploma know to check their fingers and toenails often!

3. Be Respectful in Your Personal Support Worker Career

It’s important to remember having help with personal hygiene can be uncomfortable or embarrassing for some. Effectively trained PSWs know to be respectful and conscious of their client’s feelings. Remember to be sensitive to each situation and always approach with your client’s dignity and comfort at top of your mind. Ask how they would prefer to be helped and allow them as much independence as you think is safe. You can also re-enforce to your client that you won’t let them get hurt and you intend to help.

PSWs know the importance of respecting their client’s emotions and how to be sensitive to their needs.

In our PSW Foundations course, students learn concepts of lifestyle, needs, culture, beliefs/values, independence, interdependence, autonomy, and more. Through this course, students will fully understand their variety of clients and how to be respectful of their needs. 

Clients should receive continuous monitoring for proper hygiene. With the Medix PSW program, students will learn all the best practices for assisting patients with personal hygiene. Patient safety, bathing and nail care, as well as being respectful, are all equally important and will be second nature to an experienced PSW. 

This career is incredibly rewarding since taking care of vulnerable people is a really important task, and you are, no doubt, following this path because you know that it feels good to help those who need it!


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Personal Support Worker

4 Ways to Provide Excellent Service After Personal Support Worker Training

October 21, 2022

Personal support workers play an important role in their clients’ lives. They perform a variety of tasks that help people lead happier, healthier lives by assisting with medical guidance, day-to-day hygiene, housekeeping, meal prepping, and more. Your main objective as a personal support worker is to help clients with the tasks involved in daily living. You might be drawn to this rewarding field if you want to pursue a career in healthcare that allows you to have a direct impact on the lives of clients. Keep reading to find out how you can go above and beyond after your PSW training!

1. Focus on Improving Your Clients’ Standard of Living 

As a personal support worker, in addition to your everyday duties–like reminding clients to take their medications and making them breakfast–you should always focus on ways you can improve their standard of living. How can you ensure that you’re prioritizing your clients’ satisfaction and well-being? If you’re seeking a career in personal support work, you’re likely a caring, compassionate person. Use your ability to intuit other people’s emotions and your communication skills to discern what would make life better for your client on each given day, and focus on that.

2. Rapport-Building Should Be a Priority After Personal Support Worker Training

One lesser-known duty you should expect to fulfill after personal support worker training is providing building rapport. Particularly when you’re working with clients who have limited mobility and are dealing with social isolation, you’ll likely be one of the few people that they interact with each day. It’s important that you provide enough social interaction, mental stimulation, and enjoyment for them.

Companionship will be a crucial part of your role after personal support worker training.

Providing good company and rapport involves gaining a client’s trust, listening to them without judgment, joining them in their favourite activities, and providing entertainment. After training, be sure to take the time to get to know your client as a person. What’s their favourite TV show? How can you make them laugh? Seeking the answers to those questions and acting on them can help you go above and beyond in your job.

3. Stay Flexible to Meet a Variety of Needs 

As a personal support worker, each client will have different needs. In addition, each day will require you to use different skills. It’s completely normal to experience a bit of anxiety when plans change or unexpected curveballs come your way. Practicing your adaptability will make it easier to meet your client’s needs. There are several strategies you can use to increase your flexibility at work. 

Practicing stress-management techniques can help you to make decisions with a clear mind. Making sure you’re well rested in between your shifts is a great way to remain calm on the job–even on the busiest days. At the same time, developing a varied skill set in personal support worker courses and getting practice in our hands-on labs will give you the confidence you’ll need to feel ready for anything. 

After personal support worker courses, being adaptable will go a long way.

4. Be a Team Player to Maintain Positive Working Relationships With Colleagues 

As a personal support worker, you’ll be required to collaborate with other professionals in order to deliver the best possible care to your client. For example, you may need to implement care plans put in place by doctors and nurses, so your ability to work well with others is a huge asset. In training, you’ll have the opportunity to practice your communication skills, teamwork skills, and all of the practical competencies you’ll need to provide excellent service as a personal support worker. 


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